A Good Way To Hold a Camera

VidThreeNorth

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This is something that occurred to me a long time ago. I imagine that it has been mentioned at times in other places, but I have not seen it anywhere on-line yet. So here it is:

I am not saying that there is necessarily a right or wrong way to hold a camera, but I would suggest that this is a good way to hold a camera. It is, specifically, in the left hand, and mainly holding the lens -- not the camera body. The camera body is, at most, resting where-ever it is touching the hand. I don't really care exactly where my hand is making contact.

What is the point? Well, where is the right hand? It is not there. Actually, it is holding the camera I used to take the pictures, but that is not important. The point is, that it has nothing to do with "holding" or "bracing" the camera. It is free to do whatever is useful for me. In most cases, I would be using it to work the camera controls. I'll say this again to make it clear: I am not "holding the camera" with my right hand.
 

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This is something that occurred to me a long time ago. I imagine that it has been mentioned at times in other places, but I have not seen it anywhere on-line yet. So here it is:

I am not saying that there is necessarily a right or wrong way to hold a camera, but I would suggest that this is a good way to hold a camera. It is, specifically, in the left hand, and mainly holding the lens -- not the camera body. The camera body is, at most, resting where-ever it is touching the hand. I don't really care exactly where my hand is making contact.

What is the point? Well, where is the right hand? It is not there. Actually, it is holding the camera I used to take the pictures, but that is not important. The point is, that it has nothing to do with "holding" or "bracing" the camera. It is free to do whatever is useful for me. In most cases, I would be using it to work the camera controls. I'll say this again to make it clear: I am not "holding the camera" with my right hand.
I'd never though about it before but this seem's to me to be a good point. Getting the left hand under the lense should help strady the camera.I've seen a lot of people hold onto the left side with the left hand. Another thing I might add is with longer lense's the left hand should move out a bit. Looking for the balance point with it. Notice where the tripod mounts on cameras. Shorter lense's right under the camera. Yet some longer lense's have a tripod mount on the lense in front of the camera. Then the camera hangs on the back of the lense.
 
Most SLRs and dSLRs have, for a long time now, included a grip shape on the right side of the body. The thumb is against the camera back and the fingers of the right hand are on the grip, while the index finger operates the shutter button. The left hand is operating the lens for zoom, and for focus on manual-focus systems. The left hand helps support the weight, but the right hand holds the camera.

Even on a flat-bodied camera, like my ancient Voigtlander rangefinder, my right hand is the primary hand holding the camera, although more often then not, that camera sits in both hands, as it has the film advance operated by the left hand, by plunger, rather than by a thumb lever at the top right rear. Both hands grip, not just the left hand supporting or holding. My old Canon AE-1 was a flat-bodied camera, but the battery cap on the front of the camera had a heavy lip on it which served as a gripping point.

In my case, I am most definitely holding the camera with my right hand. I'll tighten my left-hand grip if I need to operate the shutter-speed or aperture dials, but anything beyond those simple settings would be with the camera down off of my eye.
 
I've always supported my camera with the left hand under the lens. With SLR film cameras, you had to rotate the aperture that's on the lens manually with your left hand. So keeping it there and supporting the whole camera from under the lens was the natural place to put it. That was the recommended place. As an aside, on my Nikkormat, the shutter speed selection ring on the lens was also controlled with the fingers on the left hand as was the manual focusing ring. So again, it was natural to keep the hand under the lens. One point. Your photo shows the left-hand fingers stretched to the right of the camera. Mine are kept bunched up under the lens and middle of the camera. Only my right hand is on the right side when I release the shutter.

Now with digital, especially a P&S, I often hold the camera with my right hand since these adjustments are made automatically.
 
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Most folks are smart enough to know how to hold a camera in the way that best suits them.
 
I do the same as Vid describes, supporting the camera with my left hand. It depends on the camera, I often support it with the palm of my hand.

I developed a stance shooting sports/hockey, and even when just out and about taking photos. For support when watching and waiting I tend to stand with my feet somewhat apart, knees slightly together, upper body slightly back over the hips.
 

I developed a stance shooting sports/hockey, and even when just out and about taking photos. For support when watching and waiting I tend to stand with my feet somewhat apart, knees slightly together, upper body slightly back over the hips.

About a "stance", thinking about it, I seem to point the camera mainly to the left, or I tend to put my left foot forward. At least I think so. I guess it's because the camera's in my left hand in the first place.
 
I have never found holding any camera particularly difficult. My Canon T4 rebel has a grip you can wrap your right hand fingers around for a controllable single handed grip, while you focus with the left hand. The same for my My Argos C5 brick with cocking and shutter controls on the right, the left just supports the weight. My old Brownie was an easily palm filling, a one hand on the camera, shutter on the right, with the other hand supporting your wrist.

Slow shutter speeds are my bane. So, a tripod or sign post or just sitting on the ground with the camera on my knee has to do. I simply contort to the position the shot requires.
 
Here's the Nikormat FT3 manual description for hand holding the camera.

Thinking about advancing film with your right thumb is, of course, obvious to anyone using a film based 35mm camera, but today's photographers don't use much film. Odd to realize that.
 
I guess it's what you grew up with. Life long hunter. Right hand on camera left hand supports the lens. The strap gets wrapped around wrist supporting the camera and preventing accidentally dropping it
 
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Thinking about advancing film with your right thumb is, of course, obvious to anyone using a film based 35mm camera, but today's photographers don't use much film. Odd to realize that. advance
Guess you never saw an Epson R-D1--a digital that used a "film" advance lever. Sweet little Leica M-mount rangefinder.
 
Smoke,

Excellent reminder on the strap around the wrist.

My wife often leans out the window for a picture. I look over to check, and she usually remembers.
 

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